Silicon Valley State of Mind, a blog by John Weathington, "The Science of Success"
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    Welcome to a Silicon Valley State of Mind, thoughts tips and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "Silicon Valley's Top Information Strategist."

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Silicon Valley State of Mind

Tips, thoughts, and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "The Science of Success."

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Posted by on in General Comments

With all the high-tech, analytic software tools that I play with on a daily basis, one of my favorite tools is actually my shoe horn.

It is a gorgeous day in Silicon Valley today, and I’ll be spending part of it at lunch with a good friend Julian, who I met when I was consulting for PayPal. As I’m getting dressed, I realized how often I use my shoe horn, and it made me think about why this is a great tool. Great tools are simple.

I see a lot of companies choosing the wrong tools for their strategy. I’m one of the key contributors on TechRepublic’s Big Data Analytics blog, and someone made a comment the other day on one of my posts indicating that executives are erroneously trying to use Big Data to solve everything. He’s absolutely right; I see the same thing. It’s a very expensive mistake; Big Data resources are not cheap.

The bigger problem with most Big Data tools is that they’re complex. Sure, data scientists know what’s going on, but from the executive perspective, it seems like an alligator that you need to feed with fancy technology and fancy people. This isn’t good.

In fact, in many cases, you can get to where you want to go without big data. Most companies don’t even have their small data under control. And even if it makes sense to use big data for your strategy, you don’t need to dive straight into the deep end of complexities that you don’t understand.

If at all possible, keep your tools simple. Sure, I can hire a team of professionals to design a fancy, electronic device that will get my shoes on in sub-second time—but I’ll just stick with a shoe horn.

Tagged in: big-data strategy tools
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